Sunday, February 1, 2015

How Moms Need to Take the Lead With 50 Shades of Grey . . .

This is not a call to fight cultural degradation . . .

Not a moralistic 'high alert' about how we are headed down the wrong road.

Just a common sense look at how a cultural phenomenon like "50 Shades of Grey" could become a series of books and now motion picture that can encourage unhealthy attitudes about relationships and sex.

Everyone should be free to read whatever they want.  We shouldn't ban anything - but there needs to be an awareness that the things that we embrace as a culture become a teacher . . . especially to young men and women.  Typically young people between 18-24 years of age are forming sexual attitudes and a study by Amy Bonomi (and others) at Michigan State University has linked reading the series to a variety of unhealthy behaviors. 

Women who read the series were more likely to develop intimate relationships that were violent and subject themselves to destructive behaviors (eating disorders, binge drinking and promiscuity).  Now does that mean that this book is the Pandoras Box of evil?  No.  But the research (shared with Ohio State and research groups in Seattle) indicates that there is a connection between stories that encourage violent sexuality and destructive behaviors - especially in young women.

It only makes sense. 

So please . . . mothers especially . . . your leadership on this is important for young women.  Winking at this with your daughters sends tacit approval to something that is damaging to a young person's developing idea of what is sexually healthy.  Fantasy does not absolve us of our approval of something that encourages violence toward women.  

Again, moms, you were correctly outraged when that man punched his fiancee in the face on a hotel elevator security camera . . . don't miss this moment to teach your children that it is not okay to own another human, humiliatingly control their lives and introduce pain into sexuality.  One pain and humiliation was instant - the other spans a lifetime.

I'm not sure why this is getting the media endorsement, but it is.  We have a responsibility to get this message to as many parents (especially moms) as possible.  Please educate parents that this is not the kind of movie to encourage.  This is not the kind of movie to go as ladies and enjoy a night out.  This is a moment for good leadership.  Violence and objectification of any kind is not part of the design of women.  Period.

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